Laramie Movie Scope
"The drama, set in a swank Swiss resort isn't about one thing, it is about everything, and that is its problem. It is messy. It is all over the place, but there are some great performances in it, and it looks good, too."
The Little Death (2015)
"The film is an odd mixture of comedy and melodrama, with some tragedy thrown in. I would have liked it better had the film stuck to the comic elements and dumped the rest, but there is enough effective comedy in it for me to recommend it."
"This is one of those hit and miss comedies where Apatow and Schumer throw a lot of comic ideas onto the screen. Some work, some don't, but I did laugh a lot in between those scenes that didn't seem to work (like those awkward jokes about racism)."
"This is very similar to the first Star Wars film, but it isn't as family friendly. Hope and optimism are lacking in this reboot. What it lacks in optimism, it makes up for with hype, having been promoted along with every product known to man."
Beasts of No Nation (2015)
"Gibney is never able to join, or understand, the choir of millions singing the praises of Steve Jobs. Perhaps because of this, the documentary he has created seems a lot closer to the truth than anything else I've seen about Jobs."
Sunshine Superman (2015)
"This documentary about Carl Boenish, founder of modern BASE jumping is a captivating portrait of a man unlike any other. Not just an adrenaline junkie, but a superb cinematographer, technical wizard, philosopher, filmmaker and promoter of his sport."
Listen To Me Marlon (2015)
"Marlon Brando, in his own words, speaks to us from beyond the grave, using previously unheard recordings and a ghostly virtual reality form. We get deep insight into the life and thoughts of this fascinating actor."
"The acting is very convincing by Hoss and Zehrfeld. Writer-Director Christian Petzold ("Barbara") has crafted a compelling ghost story about a woman, thought to be dead, who gets a chance to see what people really thought about her."
The Big Short (2015)
"The narration and explanations, breaking the fourth wall, interfere with the movie's flow. It doesn't fully work, but it is not bad. For some people, it will be their first exposure to the fundamental corruption of American institutions."
The Assassin (2015)
"I've seen my share of Chinese films, and while the Chinese culture and customs are foreign to the Western mind, I've always been able to make sense of those other films. This poorly-edited film is inscrutable."
45 Years (2015)
"The performances by Courtenay and Rampling are excellent. They look and act the part of an old married couple, used to each other's habits and quirks. This is an effective drama about a gathering storm in an old relationship."
"It is a great, original, story and very compelling. The film is also expertly directed by Lenny Abrahamson ('Frank') who does a great job of showing us the world through the eyes of a child. This is one of the year's best films."
The End Of The Tour (2015)
"Like 'My Dinner With Andre' this is a very talky movie, but with more interesting scenery, because it is also a road movie. Eisenberg and Segel give great performances. The dialog is dense, thoughtful and meaningful. This is a movie for book lovers."
Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
"This is one of the best of the Aardman animated features, very similar to the better Wallace and Gromit stories. It is fast-paced and has sharply-defined characters. It is witty and funny without being mean-spirited."
James White (2015)
"Writer-director Ryan Coogler ('Fruitvale Station') serves notice in this film that he is one of the best young writer-directors around. He shows a sure hand directing exciting boxing scenes, as well as convincing romantic and dramatic scenes."
"Well, the Hunger Games finally grew up at the end, after all that silliness about the earth-shattering importance of fashion statements. We finally got one convincing romance, to go with a real battle and real politics."
"This third in the animated 'Despicable Me' series finds the familiar balance between villainy and heroism, silliness and relevance, but it is a bit thinner. As characters, the Minions have a lot of limitations. This is for kids only."
Cartel Land (2015)
"This documentary about the problems and limitations of vigilante justice includes some impressive hand-held camera work, indicating bravery during firefights south of the border, and stamina while climbing very rugged terrain along the border. "
"The story is captivating and the performances are convincing. It reminded me of other offbeat movies about life on the street, like 'Gimme the Loot' (2012). This is further proof you don't need a lot of money to make a good movie."
Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck (2015)
"Everybody knows about Saturday Night Live, the long-running comedy skit show, but I sure didn't know the extent to which it was connected to National Lampoon. I learned a lot from this documentary about the magazine's big influence."
Seymour: An Introduction (2015)
"Bernstein seems like a man who has found fulfillment in his life, and his students seem fulfilled as well. His story is compelling and his words seem to be loaded with wisdom. He is a fascinating character."
"There are some things about it that bothered me, so I have mixed feelings. However, the strong acting, directing and the inventive cinematography by Chung-hoon Chung ('Oldboy') is just too good to knock."
"Carey Mulligan gives a wonderful performance in this film as a woman who becomes radicalized, and pays the price for it. The story is somewhat compelling and interesting from a historical standpoint."
Mistress America (2015)
"Although Snowden has been depicted by his detractors as a gutless, narcissistic traitor fleeing the law, the Edward Snowden I saw in this film is quite different. He is very intelligent and is aware of the cost of his actions to himself and others."
About Elly (2015)
"This is a well-written, directed and acted film. The camera work by Hossein Jafarian is excellent. The story has a lot of sustained drama and mystery. Many women will view this very differently than most men in the audience."
Testament Of Youth (2015)
"The Bible says 'Blessed are the peacemakers' (Matthew 5:9) but many more monuments have been built to honor soldiers and generals than to honor those who fought just as bravely and hard for peace. At least this film honors one of them."
Because I Was a Painter (2015)
"There have been numerous documentaries about the Holocaust, but this one shows the event from the viewpoint of those who were killed in the gas chambers and destroyed in the crematoriums, as well as those who survived the concentration camps."
Bridge of Spies (2015)
The Martian (2015)
A Walk In The Woods (2015)
"Instead of sharp comedy and insight into these men, we get broader situational and physical comedy skits. Despite that, enough of the comedy works. Redford and Nolte work so well together that it is worth joining these two guys on this trip."
Mr. Holmes (2015)
"Despite the talent and experience of McKellen and Linney, young actor Milo Parker steals the show. He and McKellen are both great in their scenes together. The friendship between these two characters makes this movie work."
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
Straight Outta Compton (2015)
"Despite its weaknesses, this is a solid action film, with many of the familiar Mission Impossible trappings, including those impossible face masks. The acting is also solid by the main cast. The villain, played by Sean Harris, is up to the mark."
"The film has a nice mix of action, drama and comedy, aided by a very effective villain, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll of 'Non-Stop') who is a lot like the evil corporate character that Jeff Bridges played in 'Iron Man.'"
The Wrecking Crew (2015)